Who is Andrea Dick? Judge orders NJ woman to remove 'F*** Biden' flags or pay daily $250 fines
ROSELLE PARK, NEW JERSEY: A New Jersey town has reportedly warned a homeowner to remove her anti-Joe Biden flags, some of which say “F*** Biden”. Failure to comply, a judge has reportedly said, will result in fines. But the homeowner seems unwilling to back down.
In Roselle Park, a borough in Union County, New Jersey, residents complained about these profanity-laden flags, citing their proximity to a local elementary school – children supposedly regularly walk past it. Subsequently, this caught the attention of local code enforcement authorities. As per Mayor Joseph Signorello, a Democrat, the display includes a photo of Donald Trump raising both middle fingers and the words “F*** Biden” below. Three of the six flags include the F-word. The flags also contain the messages, "Don't Blame Me I Voted For Trump", "Joe Biden Sucks", "F*** Biden Not My President", and "Socialism Sucks Biden Blows".
Signorello, as per reports, said the homeowner was asked to remove the display because it goes against a borough ordinance that prohibits residents from displaying “obscene materials.” He said, “It’s been brought to our attention less because of the political aspect of it, but the vulgarity of it. The real problem is, from a neighbor perspective, is it’s a block away from an elementary school. It’s in a high visibility area for children. Most of the ire was drawn from a lot of local parents.”
Roselle Park Municipal Court Judge Gary Bundy ordered the homeowner and her mother, the property owner, to remove the flags with profanity or face daily $250 fines. Bundy claimed the profanity is not protected by the First Amendment. "This is not a case about politics. It is a case, pure and simple, about language," Bundy said. "This ordinance does not restrict political speech.”
Who is Andrea Dick?
Dick is the homeowner who put up this display. As per NJ.com, she said she doesn’t plan to remove the flags. She also reportedly denied there is an ordinance banning the display of obscene materials.
Andrea Dick of Roselle Park, NJ, was ordered by a judge to remove three large ‘F*ck Biden’ banners from the outside of her fence facing the street. Her home is one block from an elementary school. pic.twitter.com/YGKmg4DjAt— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) July 18, 2021
Borough Code 3-8 reportedly determines what is considered obscene material and defines it in order to prohibit such conduct or material from public view. “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, business association, club, group of individuals, or any combination of the aforementioned to knowingly photograph, act in, pose for, print, sell, offer for sale, give away, exhibit, publish, or offer to publish, or otherwise distribute or pander, make, display, or exhibit any obscene material, communication or performance or other article or item which is obscene within the Borough,” the ordinance says.
Obscenity under this ordinance is defined as “any material, communication or performance” which the average person applying contemporary community standards existing within the municipality, would find “appeals to the prurient interest,” or “Depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct,” or depicts or exhibits “offensive nakedness as hereinafter specifically defined”, or “lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”
But Dick is adamant. “I’m not taking them down,” Dick said in June when the issue first came into attention. “I refuse to take them down... Today I got a phone call from code enforcement... I said nothing against you, but I’m not taking them down. I said I have a right, freedom of speech, and I’m leaving them up there.”
Dick and her mother reportedly attended the virtual hearing on Thursday, July 15, but did not say anything beyond thank you to the judge after he explained how to appeal. Judge Bundy said, “Neither this town or its laws may abridge or eliminate Ms. Dilascio's (Dick’s mother) freedom of speech. However, freedom of speech is not simply an absolute right. It is clear from state law and statutes that we cannot simply put up the umbrella of the First Amendment and say everything and anything is protected speech."
Michael Campagna, the attorney representing Dick and her mother said, "I am a firm believer in the First Amendment. I may not believe in what you're saying, but I absolutely believe that you have the right to say it. That's what our democracy is about. If you tell people that they cannot say something, that they cannot print something, that they cannot put a sign up, we're going into censorship." Campagna also made comparisons to Nazi Germany. "In Nazi Germany, when Hitler didn't like something, they burned the books and then they burned the people," Campagna said. "I don't think we want that to happen in Roselle Park."